Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bullyby Julianne Moore, LeUyen Pham
Freckleface Strawberry loves the Early Bird program at school because it means extra time on the playground–except when it rains. Rain means indoor playtime...and facing the school bully Windy Pants Patrick in a bruising game of dodgeball. Ignoring him seems the safest thing, but what's our freckled heroine to do when she's forced to confront the bully alone?… See more details below
Freckleface Strawberry loves the Early Bird program at school because it means extra time on the playground–except when it rains. Rain means indoor playtime...and facing the school bully Windy Pants Patrick in a bruising game of dodgeball. Ignoring him seems the safest thing, but what's our freckled heroine to do when she's forced to confront the bully alone? Beat him at his own game, of course. A funny, inspiring story about an all-too-common problem that kids, parents, and teachers will easily relate to.
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I picked Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully up at the half off sale day at Goodwill. (You don't have time to read books at a store, especially on that day.) I thought the drawings were cute and that it would go well with a bullying unit or if the subject should arise in my future classroom. Today I sat down and read the books. The drawings continued to be cute and the writing wasn't terrible. I liked that the book made going to school and going to before school programs sound like fun and not like something a child should dread. Freckleface Strawberry has a few problems that kids can identify with. Some kids are scared and hate dodgeball, something I believe they shouldn't be forced into playing. She also is afraid of a kid because the kid is a "bully" and throws too hard. (I'm not entirely sure if that qualifies him as a bully or an over zealous boy. We all know those boys who throw too hard and they don't do it to be mean.) However, Freckleface is forced to confront her fears, and by confront I mean cower on the ground. She finds out that it doesn't hurt that much, which is slightly contradictory to the fact that the kids who do play are scared of him when they get out and this is repeated every day they play. From that we'd take it that he always throws hard, unless he took pity on poor Freckleface Strawberry. Overall, the drawings are cute and it might be a book children enjoy. While I say let kids enjoy it, I also say that it doesn't really have a teachable plot or lesson hidden within. It's slightly disappointing that she didn't have a real chance to address the bully and to stand up for herself.
I was delighted when Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully arrived in my mailbox. Grandchildren, Sarah and Ryan, were visiting and wanted to help me review the book. The cover is beautifully done and hints at the story inside. The first thing Sarah mentioned was the beautiful illustrations. The faces are expressive. Freckleface is an adorable redheaded girl. She loves to go to school early, so she can have extra playtime. She is very good at playing jump rope, tetherball, and four square. Sometimes they played monster, Freckleface?s favorite game. Early Bird playtime is fun, unless it is raining. If it rains, the students must play in the gym. The horrible, scary dodge ball comes out. Windy Pants Patrick throws the ball hard. He?s a bully. One day, when it was raining, Freckleface was the last person out. She realized the ball didn?t hurt as much as she thought and that Windy Pants Patrick was afraid of monsters. Sarah and Ryan both loved Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully. They learned the importance of making friends. They also learned that sometimes the things you are most afraid of are not really scary. Sarah said, ?I love to play dodge ball.? Ryan said, ?That bully was afraid of monsters; he wasn?t such a bad kid after all.? We give this book a 5-star rating. As a grandmother, I appreciate books that teach children to get along. Julliet Moore as a talented author as well as an incredible actress.